Updated: Mar 7
Covid-19 has caused an endless amount of issues for the entire world. People are getting sick and dying rapidly, we all have been pushed to wear face masks and to stay away from everyone. But the one issue that hasn’t gotten the attention that it deserves, is the young minds that are at stake due to this new isolation.
Current high school students have never been away from their peers for this long. They have had to overcome many more challenges then they are being credited for. It is more than just adjusting to the new way of learning, it is the fact that they have to be alone. Though these students have their families to turn to, there are some things that for this generation of students, that their parents really won’t understand.
On top of all of the change that is going on in the world around these teens, they are also changing physically and mentally. Once a teenager hits puberty their brain starts to strengthen connections within and certain childish characteristics start to leave, this is known as being pruned away. Teens then turn to their amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions, impulses, aggression and instinctive behaviors. That is why teens are known to be moody and in the start of puberty tend to have much more intensified mood swings because the amygdala is the first section of the brain to start the change.
When in the transition from adolescence to adulthood, it is crucial that the teenage mind is socialized properly. If there is a lack of proper socialization, they are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other types of mental illnesses.
That is the issue that today’s teens are up against. They are trying to find a way to keep their minds sharp and deal with new emotions. Thanks to Covid-19, there has been a spike in the number of teens with depression. This spike can be extremely dangerous because depression can easily lead into thoughts of suicide or suicidal actions.
But the beauty of the world that we live in today, is that the stigma behind receiving mental health has been washed away. In previous generations it was looked down upon to get help for mental issues, but now that doctors understand that this is a bigger and much more serious deal there are many ways to get help.
Many schools use Safe2Tell, it is a way for students to help other students who may be struggling. In high schools across the country, their counseling staff is making sure that students are able to meet virtually with them if they are in need. Another great source of help is the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Under the section about youth, it talks about ways to talk to guardians or to trusted adults about mental health.
It is important to know that you are not alone. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health at this time don’t be afraid to help them. We are all going through this together and we must look out for one another as we do.